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Press Release

Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Marijuana and Cocaine Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Mississippi


Gulfport, Miss. – Juan Luis Cantu a/k/a "Flaco," 24, of La Joya, Texas, pled guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Stephen G. Azzam.

During the investigation of a drug conspiracy ring, DEA agents learned through cooperating sources that Cantu was a source of supply of cocaine and marijuana for individuals on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Specifically, during the DEA investigation, one source who knew Cantu only as "Flaco" stated that he negotiated with Cantu for the delivery of over 100 kilograms of marijuana. The source was also able to identify Cantu in a photo lineup provided by DEA agents.

Two of Cantu’s co-defendants stated that Cantu was instrumental in introducing the two of them to each other for the purposes of assisting in the distribution of at least 500 grams or more of cocaine. The co-defendants also stated that Cantu was present at a meeting where they discussed the distribution of narcotics, specifically one kilogram of cocaine and 117 pounds of marijuana, and those discussions ultimately led to the distribution of narcotics on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Cantu was apprehended on October 23, 2017, in McAllen, Texas and brought to Mississippi for prosecution.

Cantu will be sentenced on June 13, 2018, by Judge Ozerden, and he faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine.

The case was investigated by the DEA and the FBI Safe Streets Task Force. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathlyn R. Van Buskirk.

Updated February 22, 2018